The Cat Who is a series of cozy mystery novels by American author Lilian Jackson Braun. The series is also known as the Jim Qwilleran Feline Whodunnits. Lilian created the series when her own cat suddenly fell to its death. The main character is Jim “Qwill” Qwilleran, a reporter who owns two Siamese cats named Koko and Yum-Yum. Koko has a “sixth sense,” which enables him to assist Qwill in solving mysteries.

The Cat Who series began with The Cat Who Could Read Backwards in 1966. After the third installment, there would not be another novel in the series until 1986. Even with the break, there ended up being 29 books (plus three collections) in the series, ending with The Cat Who Had 60 Whiskers. There was supposedly going to be a 30th book, The Cat Who Smelled Smoke, but it was cancelled. Below is a list of Lillian Jackson Braun’s The Cat Who books in order of when they were originally released (and in chronological order):

Publication Order of Cat Who... Books

The Cat Who Could Read Backwards(1966)Description / Buy at
The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern(1967)Description / Buy at
The Cat Who Turned On And Off(1968)Description / Buy at
The Cat Who Saw Red(1986)Description / Buy at
The Cat Who Played Brahms(1987)Description / Buy at
The Cat Who Played Post Office(1987)Description / Buy at
The Cat Who Knew Shakespeare(1988)Description / Buy at
The Cat Who Sniffed Glue(1988)Description / Buy at
The Cat Who Went Underground(1989)Description / Buy at
The Cat Who Talked to Ghosts(1990)Description / Buy at
The Cat Who Lived High(1990)Description / Buy at
The Cat Who Knew a Cardinal(1991)Description / Buy at
The Cat Who Moved a Mountain(1992)Description / Buy at
The Cat Who Wasn't There(1992)Description / Buy at
The Cat Who Went into the Closet(1993)Description / Buy at
The Cat Who Came to Breakfast(1994)Description / Buy at
The Cat Who Blew the Whistle(1994)Description / Buy at
The Cat Who Said Cheese(1995)Description / Buy at
The Cat Who Tailed a Thief(1997)Description / Buy at
The Cat Who Sang for the Birds(1998)Description / Buy at
The Cat Who Saw Stars(1999)Description / Buy at
The Cat Who Robbed a Bank(1999)Description / Buy at
The Cat Who Smelled a Rat(2001)Description / Buy at
The Cat Who Went Up the Creek(2002)Description / Buy at
The Cat Who Brought Down the House(2003)Description / Buy at
The Cat Who Talked Turkey(2004)Description / Buy at
The Cat Who Went Bananas(2004)Description / Buy at
The Cat Who Dropped a Bombshell(2006)Description / Buy at
The Cat Who Had 60 Whiskers(2007)Description / Buy at
The Cat Who Smelled Smoke is book #30 but has yet to be released.

Publication Order of Cat Who Short Story Collections

The Cat Who Had 14 Tales(1988)Description / Buy at
Short and Tall Tales / Qwilleran's Short and Tall Tales(2002)Description / Buy at
The Private Life of the Cat Who...(2003)Description / Buy at
Order of Books » Characters » Order of The Cat Who Books

14 Responses to “Order of The Cat Who Books”

  1. Kraft, j: 9 months ago

    Many Lilian Jackson Braun fans are heartbroken to loose such an insightful and dedicated lady.
    Would it be possible for her estate to release and have published Lilian’s 30th Cat Who story?
    I have read her Cat Who series three times. I know I will be reading them again and again.
    Thank you


  2. Vera: 10 months ago

    I have just completed a “re-read” of all 29 books. I was saddened when I heard she had passed and that her 30th book would not be published. The places and people seemed like people I’d like to visit/meet (for the most part…). The 29th book kind of left me hanging. I’d love to know what happened to Polly and how Qwill “moved on”. As often happens with “series”, the characters become like old friends… I’m so glad she wrote the series and I suppose at some time I will read them again!


  3. Kim W: 2 years ago

    I want to know what number is the cat who killed was it’s not in the line up was it left out for a reason?


    • Graeme: 2 years ago

      Hi Kim – that book wasn’t part of this series. It was a parody book written by Robert Kaplow.


  4. Dora: 3 years ago

    I just finished #29 and am still peeved about Polly’s exit from the narrative. I wonder if LJB was developing a storyline that had Qwilleran getting on with his life, perhaps with Barbara who had modern furniture, etc. I thought Polly was often insensitive, but maybe I’m just sad the the story has ended.


    • Carrie: 9 months ago

      I love all of these books. I collected almost all of them then they water damaged badly. And i had to throw them away. I never throw books. Ill give give it away but never throw awsy. So now im trying to get my collection again.i love books. The smell the feel of them the different paper. When i read a book and i like it and find out its a series.i dont stop untill i have gotten every single one from the library and read them in order. I dont like going out of order. If i really love them then i start looking at thrift stores and garage sales. I wish there was an organization that people would list what they have and what they want and we could trade books. I cant afford to just buy a whole set of books al the time. It wouldbe so awesome to trade this way.maybe buy cheaply.i always look at thrift stores. Hidden treasures!!!! if anybody knowd anythingabout someone doing this trading and collecting please pass it on!!


  5. Dave: 3 years ago

    Too bad the 30th book was never published. The storyline with Polly Duncan ended very abruptly and it seems like there was more that might have been said. I know it didn’t sit well with my wife. Perhaps there were documents left that may have indicated what would have happened in #30 that someone could flesh out.

    Oh well.


    • Deena: 2 years ago

      I was also shocked when Polly was deleted from the series. I was very disappointed that Polly wrote a letter rather than calling Qwill. But in retrospect Polly was never warm and fuzzy. Polly even abandoned her cats, I realize that she probably couldn’t bring them to Paris but she could have flown home to wrap up her affairs and told Qwill face to face what she was doing. Oh well I hope Barbara is warmer and more sensitive than Polly.Better luck with this lady Qwill.


  6. Gwen Merrick: 5 years ago

    I am currently collecting all of The Cat Who series second hand soft cover publications and they will have a small bookshelf all to themselves. The investment in these paperbacks is canny as (like Agatha Christies works) one can begin at the beginning once more and lose none of the charm.


  7. Marilyn Cremona: 6 years ago

    One summer my daughter and I read all of the series that our local library held. We’d sit at the dinner table talking about the characters like they were next door neighbors. My husband was a bit confused when we’d mention people he didn’t know but we had so much fun.


  8. Sharon O'Connor: 6 years ago

    I discovered these books years ago and have read them all and read them again when life gets complicated, always a pleasure and lightens my heart.


  9. TruthSeeker: 7 years ago

    I have always enjoyed reading, and cannot stand it when books, and other great items end up trashed in dumpsters/landfills. I saw thousands of both brand new, and used books in dumpsters at a Monrovia recycling plant. They refused to sell me any, and it made me sick. Imagine how great it would be if schools, libraries, and thrift stores, etc.could have received all those great books? We live in such a sick world full of very greedy,selfish,rotten people.


  10. Patti J. McCann: 10 years ago

    I have read everyone of the cat who series and also owned everything from the series, it is my all time favorite series and i sure do miss not having new ones to read


    • Anne vw: 7 years ago

      Do you know how to get the audios. I have several andthey are fabulous. But I haven’t been able to get they rest
      Try listening to the cat who ate Danish modern It is a scream with professional actir, George guidall doing all the parts!!!


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